Bahrain witnesses describe bloody crackdown

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Bahrain witnesses describe bloody crackdown

Postby Reyhana » 23 Mar 2011, 19:55 ... 2011-03-16

17 March 2011

The worst violence happened in the early hours of 17 February, when massed ranks of riot police stormed Pearl Roundabout to evict the protesters.

Tanks blocked access to the roundabout as police used live ammunition, tear gas, batons, rubber bullets and shotguns to disperse the crowd.

One witness told Amnesty International that riot police were shooting from different angles, including from a bridge over the roundabout, while protesters desperately ran for cover.

18-year-old medical student Khadija Ahmed, who was volunteering at an informal medical clinic at the roundabout told Amnesty International researchers she heard shots after 0300hrs on 17 February:

“Some injured arrived at the tent straight away with tear gas problems. Then police threw or fired two tear gas canisters inside the tent and pulled the flap down. People were crying ‘Save me, save me from them’.”

Her twin sister Zeinab said: “People were shouting ‘Salmiya, Salmiya, We are peaceful don’t attack’... One of the police was shouting at me and another was hitting my dad, really hard with a stick, who was trying to protect me."

Five people died after the raid on Pearl roundabout including 'Isa 'Abdulhassan, aged 60, who died instantaneously after being shot in the head. Medical evidence seen by Amnesty International indicates that he was probably shot from within two metres.

More than 10 medical professionals told Amnesty International they were attacked by riot police as they tried to treat injured people on 17 February.

Dr Sadeq al-'Ekri, a surgeon, told Amnesty International that police stopped him, tied his hands behind his back, forced him onto a bus, pulled his trousers down and then punched and beat him with sticks all over his body, including his genitals.

Officers later threatened him, including with sexual abuse, while the beatings continued.

“These physical injuries will disappear but the psychological damage will not… I didn’t believe that this would happen in Bahrain,” said Dr Sadeq al-'Ekri.

Ambulances were blocked from entering the roundabout for about four hours from 0630hrs.

Paramedic Jamil ‘Abdullah Ebrahim was in a convoy of five ambulances stopped by riot police at around 0830hrs. He told Amnesty International that police pulled him out and started beating him.

“About a dozen were there, beating me with sticks, black wooden sticks about 60cm long. Some took off their helmets to hit me with them.”

After enduring a five-minute assault, Jamil ‘Abdullah Ebrahim found a colleague with blood pouring down his face. Officers had hit him over the head with a rifle butt and threatened him: “If you come back I will kill you”.

"It is totally unjustifiable that ambulances were blocked and medical staff attacked as they attempted to treat injured protesters. It raises serious questions about the orders given to riot police that must be urgently investigated," said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Programme Director.
''The worst sin is that which the commiter takes lightly.''[saying of Imam Ali a.s. quoted in Nahjul Balagha]
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Re: Bahrain witnesses describe bloody crackdown

Postby Reyhana » 23 Mar 2011, 20:08

Bahraini protesters tell of bloodshed as crackdown escalates

16 March 2011

Bahraini protesters today told Amnesty International of bloody scenes on the streets as government security forces stepped up their violent crackdown on demonstrations and blocked access to hospitals.

At least six people were reportedly killed in the capital Manama amid continuing protests as the army used tanks to flatten the peaceful protest camps set up in recent weeks to demand reform in the Gulf state.

Government forces also surrounded hospitals and attacked doctors trying to help the wounded.

"The distressing reports and images coming out of Bahrain today provide further evidence that the authorities are using lethal and other excessive force to crush protests, with reckless disregard for human life," said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Director.

"Wounded protesters have also been prevented from accessing medical attention by government forces.. The Bahraini authorities must immediately put a stop to this bloodshed."

Security forces attacked the mainly Shi’a protest camp at Manama’s Pearl Roundabout camp early on Wednesday.

Family members of those wounded at the roundabout and people trying to approach the area told Amnesty International that the army opened fire on them without warning.

"I was walking towards the Pearl Roundabout… We were 5km from the roundabout when we were shot with live ammunition - one shot came one metre away from me. There were two tanks in the street and a helicopter above us," said Nabeel al Rajab,director of the banned Bahrain Centre for Human Rights.

Amnesty International also received testimonies from medical staff who were prevented from treating the victims of violence.

"We are waiting to do something and the army is not allowing us. We know there are hundreds injured and they are not allowing them to come here," said one doctor at the central Salmaniya hospital who did not wish to be named due to safety fears.

"A doctor went to the gate this morning trying to come in and the army beat him. They also threw tear gas and another type of gas at the emergency entrance of the hospital."

Another doctor said he was afraid of going to work because he heard of colleagues being attacked trying to reach the hospital.

"Hundreds of doctors and nurses are willing to provide services but they are stuck in their houses and do not know what to do, they are afraid of leaving their houses in case they are shot," the doctor told Amnesty International.

"The Salmaniya hospital is surrounded by the army. Injured people have instead been brought to small health centres that can't really provide optimal medical care and can't deal with these injuries."

In the nearby town of Sitra, a local resident told Amnesty International that she was afraid to go outside.

"We can't go out because the army is everywhere. They are throwing tear gas in the street. If anyone leaves their house, the army shoot at them," she said.
''The worst sin is that which the commiter takes lightly.''[saying of Imam Ali a.s. quoted in Nahjul Balagha]
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Re: Bahrain witnesses describe bloody crackdown

Postby Muhammad » 26 Mar 2011, 20:31

Thank you sister for the regular updates.
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